Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Spurs v West Ham Preview 29.10.03 - West Ham views
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Spurs v West Ham 29.10.03 - West Ham viewpoint

Brian Judson's Preview
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The following views were passed to me by Alex V. from the West Ham Online site. See the link above for my reciprocal article.

How are your club doing this season?

As well as can be expected I think. Obviously relegation is a disaster, and many of our best players either left or were sold. At the start of the season we were blooding youngsters in every game, and since then it's been loan signings in and out, and never a settled side. Three managers as well! To be four points off the top of the division after all that is some result!

Who do you think's your best/most on form player(s)?

Defoe seems to have upped his game from last season and looks every bit a Man Utd-bound striker. Connolly is an unexpected treat on the cheap from Wimbledon, a skillful, tricky little striker who knows exactly how to get goals at this level it seems. James is probably in the form of his life and essential at this level, and Repka has recovered from the slatings he got in the Premiership to be easily our best defender.

Your worst players?

I think it's been hard for everyone in the circumstances, but of the regular players Neil Mellor on loan from Liverpool has disappointed me most - he's been thrown in at the deep end and it shows. Some other players are still disappointingly average, even at this level - Dailly, Hutchison, Lee etc.

Any hidden gems or promising younsters in the squad?

Anton Ferdinand seems to have the talent and attitude of his older brother, though he's been slightly slower to settle in much more difficult circumstances. But he's got everything in place to go all the way as a player.

What sort of line-up can we expect?

Depends on injuries really, particularly Connolly's - I've got a feeling we may put Defoe up front with Hutchison off him and making a five in midfield. The others pick themselves really - Etherington, Carrick, Mullins, Ferdinand and a back four of Quinn, Dailly, Repka and Stockdale ahead of James.

How's ex-Spur Etherington doing for you?

I've been extremely happy with him - hard-working, good crosser, very positive and direct player, and left-footed. He's actually been the only forward-thinking midfielder in the team at times, so is worth his weight in gold to us so far this season.

Are you missing Kanoute?

Losing both Kanoute and Sir Les in the Summer has left us very lightweight up front. Kanoute I felt was criminally under-rated by our fans, not least because he always had a better record away from Upton Park. Unfortunately Roeder didn't feel he was a team player, we had to sell, and you got an absolute bargain I think.

How do you think Spurs will do this season?

I haven't seen all that much of you to be honest, but it doesn't take a genius to see that you'll be somewhere between relegation and the European places.

Any Spurs players that will worry you?

I don't think we like tricky forwards too much, so Robbie Keane would be the one I'd expect to undo us.

Predicted score?

You should win... we're a shadow of our former selves.

Do you think it'll be a good game?

I think Pardew is trying to get us to tighten up, so it may be dourer than you might expect. But I'd back Defoe to cause any team problems.

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